#5 Niko Kari (FIN – Arden)
Qualifying: 14th – Race 1 Grid: 14th – Race 1 Result: DNF (incident)
GP3 Championship position: 10th – 28 points – after 11 of 15 races
#14 Dan Ticktum (GBR – Dams)
Qualifying: 10th – Race 1 Grid: 10th – Race 1 Result: 13th
GP3 Championship position: 0 points – after 11 of 15 races (debut in race 11)
An incredibly impressive GP3 drive from Niko Kari, cutting through the field from 14th to 4th, ended with two laps to go as he lost it at Monza's famous Lesmo 2. While the 17-year-old Finn failed to finish, fellow Red Bull Junior Dan Ticktum was 13th.
The 18-year-old Briton had been into the podium hunt in his GP3 debut before suffering a puncture and set the fifth fastest lap of the race, a very impressive first GP3 drive
Though Sunday was finally dry and sunny the weather had been awful on Saturday leading to the cancelation of qualifying and the postponement of the Feature Race to Sunday so that there would be no time for Race 2.
Grid positions were therefore taken from Free Practice and while that was bad for Kari, Ticktum had instantly got to grips with the Dams GP3 car in his very first outing and was tenth quickest.
Kari fast, and furious with himself
While incredibly quick from the start of the race, Kari was naturally unhappy with the way it ended. "Of course I'm pissed at myself for the silly mistake at the end, I was in too quick, got a moment of understeer and couldn't hold it on the track. I got wide and onto the astroturf at the exit, that was still wet and we were off."
It was a great shame after a brilliant drive. "Yes from P14 to P4 in two laps, I don't know how I did it frankly, a lot of places off the start and then I was just passing cars anywhere I could. It was all a bit unreal."
Pace in practice
"Free Practice wasn't perfect," continued Kari. "Some issues with the car, the DRS and then I made a small mistake when we put the new tyres on so that left us P14 but we knew we had a lot more pace than that. We didn't get to improve because qualifying was rained off."
"It was not at all bad for the first time out at Monza. We've now got to get over the frustration of the way the race finished and concentrate on going through things so we don'y have issues in the remaining races that just seem to mess up our weekends a bit, that's with the car and with me."
Ticktum's terrific start
Stepping into a GP3 car for the first time Ticktum was unsure what to expect but it was a superb debut. "Yes I got up to fourth, then Boccolacc hit me going into Ascari and his front wing gave me a puncture. I went off the track and then had to pit. They put on on older tyre on the left rear."
"A real shame but my lap time was just two tenths off the ART guys and if we'd had the second race I'm sure I would have been quicker," asserted Ticktum, obviously disappointed that he lacked track time with no qualifying or second race.
"I am very happy about the weekend, I surprised myself how quick I got used to the extra horsepower, the downforce and everything. I didn't really struggle at all. I think I showed what I can do if the car is working. It was so nice to drive a car with a bit of power."